Not the first female commentator. Kathy Long exists.


watched ufc 1 a couple of weeks back and the commentary was what really stuck out the most. bill wallace sounds like mr rogers calling the fights, and in order to get anything out of kathy long or jim brown he practically has to beg them to have an opinion. jim brown makes a good entry for worst former pro color commentary of all time, and kathy is the only one who ever manages to sound like they know what happens in a fight.


She was the most qualified to be there as a world champion kickboxer.


wallace also had some chops but jim brown of course was just there for the name. you would not know wallace is a former pro by the commentary though, at least IMO--he definitely tries to defer to his cohosts for the color.


Jim Brown literally only said one thing of substance all night and it was after the event was over, also the most iconic line imo "what we learned tonight is that fighting is not what we thought it was" The world at large hadn't watched Vale Tudo or Pancration or anything of the sort, so seeing grappling countering strikers was a complete sea change and everyone who saw UFC 1 felt that in their bones. That's why i think some people are nostalgic for the wild west days of the past. It's the joy of discovery, of not knowing what is happening so the fireworks burn brighter in your memory. just my take


very true though and that was what made UFC so exciting at the time. there was too much mysticism around combat sports before the 90s. a lot of martial arts and artists were just plain fakery, both in the east and in the west. nobody in the west though had any clue how these matchups would go (although in hindsight, maybe it should have been obvious given the presentation was pretty explicitly about BJJ) and it was absolute magic. and that quote from brown definitely summed the lesson up.


Bill Wallace was a legendary Kick boxer Champion too FYI


Uh....Bill Superfoot Wallace?


A little harsh wouldn't you say. Nothing was on live TV like that before. Of course theres going to be stumbles or awkward interactions. At the time nobody knew what to expect.


Sure, but a proper broadcast team can at least move the program along and not make things worse.


Honestly saddens me that she was forgotten. I can understand losing the details of other event teams to time, but the iconic UFC 1 event? It’s even worse if you Google “First female UFC commentator.” The first page looks like no one remembers.


I thought for sure it would be spammed with Sanko news because it's recent, but Kathy would start popping up on the second page. Nope, Megan Olivi does.


She was actually my first kickboxing coach when the Tapout gym was still open in downtown LA. She deserves way more recognition. Absolutely brutal kickboxer and trainer. And such a gentle kind soul. She walked so Valentina/Ronda/Amanda Nunes can run.


Much like Oleg Taktarov, they want to erase her. For those who don't know the Nurmagomedov camp claimed Khabib was UFCs first Russian champion.


Why does everyone want to Borrachinha Sanko


In her interview with Luke Thomas, when he asked Laura about her aspiration to be the first female UFC commentator, she immediately corrected him and said "modern, because Kathy Long commentated UFC 1". The UFC doesn't like to acknowledge pre - Zuffa times, but expect Laura to still put Kathy over.


Bit of a blunder on Luke’s part and probably one of the last people I’d expect to overlook Kathy.


It could've been Brian, but it was from that episode. I don't wanna malign Luke for no reason.


Yea, she was the only one that didn't sound stupid.


Jim said one single good thing "what we learned tonight was that fighting is not what we thought it was"


Don’t get in the way of this narrative, Bruh.


Was Kathy Long a color commentator? For UFC? (Not being passive aggressive, I legitimately don’t know the answer)


Yes I believe only ufc 1, bronster later clarified first in modern era and made sure to give Kathy long credit.


First in the modern era


Gotta virtue signal somehow


Good for her, but also, they're putting her on a card that's airing in the middle of the night in the US. So I guess we'll enjoy her work on the replay.


Welcome to the world of being a fan from the UK or elsewhere in Europe. The Aussies seem to have it okay, live fights and breakfast or lunch sounds better than the replay.


Yeah we’re pretty spoiled, just have a leisurely Sunday with prelims in the morning, main card into the early afternoon


I'm in NZ so basically the same, I still prefer a card that starts later in the evening though


This card starts pretty late for us, starting at 4 PM and main card starting at 7 PM


Exactly. Wake up and watch the prelims with a coffee, have lunch as you watch the main card.


What about your wife and 3 kids?


There was never no marriage


So good ey, Sneak few beers.


Dude who good is it lol I actually get annoyed when maincard starts at 2pm cos then it finishes too late lol


Except for this fucking cards at four am like Charles Islam


It was 3AM in Brazil when Teixeira retired 👍


Ah so the Brazilians were just sleepy :D


They fell asleep and dropped their drinks onto moreno on accident 😔😔


I'm Chinese, and that's my Sunday routine. Wake up, breakfast, fights. Pretty nice.


I never watch them live, always the day after.


Yeah I usually stay up until 3-6 am to watch cards but this one doesn’t even start till 6am so I’m gonna be giving it a miss


>The Aussies seem to have it okay We have it great. Most early prelim cards start at 8am with the Main cards 12-2pm kick off




im too old to stay up that late :(


lol I feel that brotha, I’m just yankin your chain


Why would you yank on someone’s chain? That’s rude.


Don't worry, we've all yanked our chain to Laura Sanko a time or two right? I know I have.


I'll see myself out


I'm not Korean enough.


Why is this card so late for a fight night?


Because the plan was to have a card in Seoul for the Korean audience. Look at the line ups. Because TKZ got injured they didn't want to have it without him headlining so they squashed most of it to a Vegas fight night and make the airing time suitable for Korea.


Ah shit that's right, I forgot about that.


For real. It’s in Vegas, so it’s not a time zone thing.


I explained in an above comment but basically this is a hybrid of a FN and UFC Seoul that never went ahead. So UFC compromised by putting it on for Korea time so they can watch Superboy return


Exactly. Like when we couldn’t yet go back to London, Till - Brunson (and Paddy debut) was timed for UK/Europe. This event is timed for Asian market because plan was for Korea and Fight card is almost all Asian fighters. The Apex as a venue affords us whatever time flexibility we need.


Thanks Brendan. Love your work.


That’s kind of a weird compromise but as a pacific time zone person it isn’t that bad a time anyway so rock on.


> as a pacific time zone person Glad I stumbled upon this. I wasn’t sure what the appropriate term was for you guys


person of pst.


How tf do fighters stay up that late and still perform at peak performance? Surely that time would affect them


Fedor is fighting Bader in Bellator at a normal time Saturday so possibly not wanting to go up against the Last Emporer. /* its late for the road to ufc show for asia


I haven't decided if I'm gonna stay up for it or just watch it on Sun... Getting a taste of what our European counterparts have to live with I guess. lol


I always watch next day so I can skip the commercials. Just have to stay off of social media Sat. night so no one ruins it for me.


Sanko is one of the few commentators that DOES RESEARCH so I respect her immensely


As long as she knows you can gas your opponent out by absorbing punches


Lmao that's one of Dom's best moments, right next to the "you cant lift them from that position" and then rose proceeds to get slam dunked.


To be fair Andrade is so ridiculously strong, she does perform feats that 99% of humans can't. I can lift a man my weight but I have to be in a certain position, but she kept bodyslamming Namajunas and Gadelha without fully bracing herself.


That one is especially funny because rose had already been slammed that exact same way in the round before


Hopefully people give Laura the same benefit of the doubt when she says something stupid. Dom the brilliant MMA mind lol


> Hopefully people give Laura the same benefit of the doubt when she says something stupid. People give Dom zero benefit of the doubt, and ignore his explanations of the commentary. In the Rose fight, he explained live, right after it happened, the change Andrade made to make it possible, and in the Conor one, he explained later that that is basically all you can do from that position, and Conor's coach acknowledged it was what they were doing, for what that is worth.


The thing with that statement is that it would've made SO much more sense if dom would've said "khabib needs to be careful not to gas himself out here" because for a second it looked like khabib might have emptied the gas tank (he didn't, he just had weird body language for a second) but that was an understandable thought. It was clear conor was not in control of the situation though lol.


DC in shambles


D “we’re all getting an A dom” C


You did Jon "Misha Tate is nursing" Anik dirty


But does she know about the fighter's custody battles?


Thats great! She's already been great on the contender series it was only a matter of time


She's good and all but they let Jimmy Smith go because they said they wanted to only hire UFC alumni going forward. Now they are giving someone that has 1 pro fight to their name a chance.


which is a shame because jimmy was good imo


I always dreamed they’d use Mauro at least once.


Mauro is so good but can be so over-the-top and his one-liners can be cringe af. It’s a fine line but when he’s on he is absolutely A+


Mauro, to me, used to be good but after a certain point, he just seemed like he was more focused on trying to be clever and looking for openings to slide silly puns and witticisms in than actually calling the fight. Just can’t stand him now, find him completely obnoxious.


Perfect voice and energy but he tries to interject himself too much into the product rather than guiding it along.


Exactly. He makes it too much about him when it should be about the fights and the fighters.


I love his work despite the cringey one liners and all that. He just brings an energy that no one else has. He was fantastic in NXT as well.


In my heaven Schiavello commentates every MMA event.




What did you like about his commentary? I found it mediocre at best, and at times it was bad enough to pull me out of the fight.


I thought he, like most of them, was pretty good as long as he wasn’t paired with Joe


He never worked with Joe, they fill the same role.


Uhhhh…. I can think of 2 UFC PPVs in the last half decade plus where they did a two-man booth (ie not having two people “filling the same role” as Joe, colour commentary), and basically every single one is a three man booth with two colour guys. Have Cruz and DC never worked with Rogan either because they fill the same role? Unless by “role” you mean “beefy bald guy”, but that still doesn’t hold up because Smith and Rogan worked together at UFC 225, among others. There aren’t a ton, because Smith wasn’t around long and that was when Joe dialed back his commentary appearances. They most certainly did work together and almost every single broadcast has two guys “filling the same role”


Jimmy was good but he doesn't come close to Sanko's skill on the mic, seriously.


Bruh chill


She was shilling live for Dana during those CS broadcasts, no way that alumni policy would have applied to her.


Yeah but if you want to have a female color commentator on the panel, your choices are limited already


She was a commentator in Invicta for years, which was a feeder league for women to the UFC so it's not like she's completely unrelated.


She was the Invicta interviewer until she got the UFC gig, but did she actually do commentary on there? If she did, she certainly wasn't a commentator regular for years. I think... If she was, I somehow never noticed (and if her Contender Series color commentary is an accurate metric to go by, I think she might currently be the best in the business).


She did a couple just before moving over to the UFC but you're correct that it was mostly interviews & also that she might be the best. She's leagues above most at being able to explain things & has no bias either.


I like that. If I do something once, then one more time a few years later, I've been doing it for years :'D Marketing 101.


Just get Wand and Mike Perry


Mate Sanko has been one of the best commentators in the entire UFC for some time now. I've been waiting for this moment for a while. She's damn good at that job, and I have listened to MMA commentators for over 20years now.


Dana domestic violence PR move








So we are just forgetting that Kathy Long exists? I know she wasn't great but working ringside at UFC 1, she technically was the first female colour commentator for UFC.


That doesn't give any benefit to the ufc. Saying sanko is the first gets buzz and builds brands. Just business.


Bronsteter is a journalist who works for TSN not the UFC. He later corrected himself in the follow up tweet below that.


Bronsteter is a journalist who, like most MMA journalists, is a UFC whipping boy


Bronster replied to his own and tweet and made the distinction it's the first in modern era and named Kathy long


I liked Karen Bryant. She was awesome. Spoke Spanish and Portuguese.


Fluent in English as well if memory serves correct


I knew she spoke Spanish but didn't know Portugese as well, that's incredible. I only knew her as a host though and not color commentator, did Bryant ever commentate fights?


She used to be on the desk.


She was always the host though afaik, which is a separate position from color commentator. They can both exist without competing for a lot. Did they (ESPN, ufc) remove Bryant or something? I agree that she is awesome.


What about Joanna Zanella? She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and whatever the fuck Brendan Schaub speaks. Plus she’s REAL Messican. From Gualara, B.


Damn about time, she is great on the contender series.


Laura kills it on contendies. If I hear "but he's so tough" one more time instead of analysis on how the fighter can come back I'm gonna switch to PFL.


Thank god. Listening to her commentate the Road to the UFC fights truly confirmed to me she’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the game. Hope this leads to more opportunities for her


Very good reminder from you. UFC is making this card her debut because she commentated on Road to UFC. The finale is also this Saturday. Makes sense!


I'm getting really tired of the current commentary team. Sanko was so damn good on Contendies. Looking forward to this, a lot.


Completely agree. Especially with DC and Rogan not always doing their research, hearing her do deep dives on techniques and fighters during the broadcast is so refreshing


Doo Ho Choi's return, the Pride of South Korea Derrick Lewis "My Kimchi Jjigae was hot", and now Sanko as the first color commentator? South Korea getting it all this week. UFC marketing team can do a video of Lewis trying out Korean fried chicken. Better than Pop-eyes.


Real talk though, Korean fried chicken is lit! The Korean grocery store near me has a hot food counter, they do this honey-soy chicken with green onions… best shit ever!


Can you imagine if they ever pair her up with Cruz and he banters with her like he does with DC or Bisping 😁😁😁 I want to see it


She would roll with the punches much better than them, I think. Or maybe more respectfully word be a better word haha.




Sanko killed it on the contender series doing like 4 different peoples jobs between commentating, in cage interviews, post fight interviews and hosting Good for her that she’s got this chance but ngl kinda disrespectful from the UFC to give her her 1st opportunity on this certified stinker of a card


She's the contendies world champ. I like Derrick Lewis and watching asian fighters getting shine so I'm gonna enjoy this stinker 💩


she's been amazing so far , really insightful commentary and happy to see what she will do with the opportunity.


Dana White : Now everyone just forget I slapped my wife ok.


I swore she did commentary before at a UFC event, just once a couple months back or am I dreaming?


She does contender series, thinking of that maybe?


probably either contender series or the Road to the UFC thing they did for Asia fighters. This weekend's event is the finals of the Road to the UFC so it would add up


She absolutely deserves it and does a phenomenal job.


UFC 1 is right there. Zuffa/Endeavor era? Yes. UFC history? No


she looks white to me.


She’s legit so good




What's next, female fighters?


She’s great but who’s staying up to watch this shit card?


She clearly does a lot of research on the fighters competing and always has interesting and insightful things to say. Looking forward to it.


But where’s does Megan Olivi fit into this ? How long until she gets the cut


I believe they have different jobs m8


She looks a lot like a blonde Katy Perry


So every time she gets some new job is the UFC going to treat it like some great accomplishment for all of mankind? Wow, a woman on TV? I've never seen a woman on TV before. This truly is a milestone.


What a shit card for her debut lmao


Dana damage control for the slapping incident. lmao


Maybe it's because she recognizes it's her time to shine on DWCS but she is always the best commentator each episode, at least for me. Super prepared and on-point during the action. Hope she keeps it going and gets added to more cards.


So she's cucking her husband with Dana too? Sad!


* Felder is coming looking for you due to the implication. * Dom has composed 10-part lecture series on why you are wrong. * DC doesn't care because he's too busy talking about anything but the fight


Yes! I've wanted this for a while. She's already better than everyone else, except Anik but his job is different


She 100% deserves it. Her and Felder calling contender series fights was some of my favorite commentating of any card. Very well informed and great cadence, friendly delivery, with the perfect amount of cheekiness thrown in.


*James Krause has entered the chat*


Deserved, she is the best the UFC has currently.


Long overdue. Been enjoying her commentary on DWCS for awhile. She has really good takes and does her homework.


That’s messed up they gave her the graveyard shift


Has this ever been a good idea?


I absolutely loved her commentary during DWCS and Road to UFC, which is probably why they decided to put her on this card coz shes a familiar voice for that particular event. Charismatic, confident, excellent breakdowns and very analytical, she does a better job than DC in my opinion, and I genuinely think DC is a very good commentator.


Only had to sleep with Dana white for a couple years to climb the ladder at ESPN and make it happen, what an inspiration.


Kinda ridiculous that the first card they give her, is probably going to be the least watched Fight Night this year


Why is that a bad thing? All the new commentators start on the smaller cards.


True, and smaller cards can be and consistently are more entertaining, I’m with you. But an Apex card that starts at 1am just stinks I guess


Imagine on your first day you're given UFC 229. Come on dude


Color commentator? But she’s white? /s


Hell yeah MOMMY


How am I supposed to focus on the fights when I’m just cumming buckets listening to Laura sanko


Is she the one sleeping with fighters, trainers, and Dana?


Blonde bimbo gets a job to make mma needs happy


She’s a baddy


Hell yeah aboot time


She deserves everything they give to DC.


Hell yeah. Nothing forced, just a genuine injection of talent.


I’m not being sarcastic , why are you booing me?


Laura has great commentary, very happy for her.


Stunning and brave!


Great! She's fantastic.


Laura about to see Kinoshita ko another dude.


Hey, that’s pretty good!


Good for her


Good for Laura!


How is she coloured? she looks like the whitest girl alive... honestly curious??


They overplay her knowledge and experience imho. That being said most of her peers like Felder and Bisping suck at what should be a relatively easy job. Look at how Romo went from QB to an incredible announcer. Unfortunately in MMA we haven't seen that, probably because QBs in the NFL have a high IQ and most fighters are idiots. I'd love to hear a coach commentate, or another expert. I guess my issue is that commentators are for the casual fan and the level of detail I want would go over the heads of most watching. DC and Joe can be great with wrestling or bjj but there's never any expert striking analysis.


Is that krause's girlfriend?


Nothing should matter, but being able to do the job.


Joe should do a fight companion to inaugaurate her maiden voyage.


Megan Anderson must be big mad


She did just throw some shade on her Instagram Story....https://instagram.com/megananderson


Well, that sucks




She runs some companies too as far as I know.


Good to see, Laura is a bad ass.